House of Commons Hansard #65 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was countries.

Topics

Medical Isotopes
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, regardless of the catcalling from the other side, we think it is very important to communicate this.

This is a serious situation and we have great concern for the health and safety of Canadians. We are working globally with our partners who produce medical isotopes. As well, we are looking toward the future, recognizing that we need to find that long-term supply and that is why we called an expert review panel to look at all the options that we have received. It is a heck of a lot more than what they did in 13 years, which was nothing.

Medical Isotopes
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, 5,000 procedures in Canada rely on medical isotopes every day but it appears that foreign suppliers could supply, at most, 2,000. This means that at least 3,000 procedures a day in Canada will not occur through June, July, August, who knows how long. Patients will be moved onto waiting lists that are already too long for other types of tests and treatments that are not as good. This will put more stress on patients, families and medical professionals.

How could the government have failed to see this coming?

Medical Isotopes
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, Health Canada has provided advance warning and regular updates to the provinces and the territories and worked with the isotope experts to develop medical guidance on dealing with the shortage, including examining other possible isotopes. Many tests can be completed using other options. What this means for Canadians is that we are making alternatives available so that medical isotopes can be used where most needed.

Medical Isotopes
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, she did not answer the question.

The minister announced last week that her department would assemble an expert panel to explore other ways to obtain isotopes for Canadians. While experts in nuclear medicine are calling the situation a disaster, the minister still has not chosen her panel.

Why did the government not seek such expert opinion 18 months ago? Why was it asleep at the switch?

Medical Isotopes
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the member may be confused between the two processes, the one from last year and the one this year. Last year an expert panel discussed the issue. We learned from those lessons, which is why we are working with the globe in terms of dealing with the shortage in isotopes. In fact, I have a call scheduled for tomorrow morning with the other isotope producing countries in order to discuss maintenance schedules.

Finally, even though there is a great need to be catcalling to me as I try to talk about the important issue of medical isotopes, it is important to remember that we are--

Medical Isotopes
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

June 1st, 2009 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Ottawa is giving $5 billion to General Motors, thus bringing to $10.2 billion federal assistance to the automobile industry. By comparison, the Conservative budget, which the Liberals supported, provides only $170 million for the forestry sector, which is critical for the regions of Quebec. The government also added $100 million for silviculture, but that is still far short of the $10 billion given to the automobile sector, which is primarily located in Ontario.

Will the government finally admit that loan guarantees are legal under all trade agreements, and that Quebec's forestry companies need them immediately?

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the automobile industry is a free market that is not governed by an agreement signed on both sides of the border to regulate an industry. As for the forestry industry, it is at the very request of that industry, following requests made to us in 2006, that our government signed an agreement with our American partners. We must now respect this agreement.

I know that forestry workers are going through difficult times, but we will continue to support them by implementing programs to help them.

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in London, the workers paid by the federal government are arguing the exact opposite of what the minister just said in the House.

As for the Minister of Finance, he stated that the government had no choice but to help the automobile sector, otherwise thousands of jobs would be lost. The fact is that, over the past two years, 50,000 jobs were lost in the forestry sector in Canada, with half of those in Quebec.

When will the government realize that, just like the automobile sector, it has no choice but to help Quebec's forestry sector immediately, to put an end to these job losses?

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, allow me to quote Avrim Lazar, president of the Forest Products Association of Canada, who said: “The government did not kill the forestry industry; the market did. The government did not drop the prices on wood or pulp and paper; the market did.”

Our solutions must focus on the real issue, which is that no one wants to buy our products right now, because we are going through a global recession. We have set up, along with our colleague, the Minister of Natural Resources, a Canada-Quebec committee that is working on finding solutions. We have already announced some of these solutions and others will follow.

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, recently, the Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec) falsely stated that Export Development Canada had given $9 billion to Quebec's forestry sector. EDC officials refuted that statement in the papers.

Can the minister tell us how much EDC gave Quebec's forestry sector in loan guarantees? How much?

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, in answer to my colleague's question, the journalist who made the mistake corrected it. Perhaps my colleague has not read that article. He only read what he wanted to.

EDC supplied $9 billion in financial services, including accounts receivable insurance and other services, to 226 forestry companies in Quebec in 2008, and it will continue to do so.

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, can the minister tell us why amounts given to the Ontario auto industry were made public while amounts given to Quebec's forestry industry by EDC are still secret?

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, the softwood lumber agreement signed in good faith by the Canadian and American governments included a framework that we must abide by. The agreement provides for support from government partners. The government itself must comply with the terms of the agreement.

With respect to the auto sector, this is a free market issue, and any announcements that have been made or will be made in the next few hours involve the governments of both countries and a provincial government. That is something else altogether. Someone has tried to mislead people, but it is not true.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has broken all records for poor economic performance. Worse yet, the Conservatives are rewarding this poor performance.

Despite record losses of $24 billion, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board executives are earning bonuses.

We have heard about $6 million over two years for David Denison. Mark Wiseman, they say, got $5 million, while Graeme Eadie and Donald Raymond got more than $3 million each.

Why does the government refuse to take action?